Azam, Shadab lift Pakistan to 32-run victory in 2nd ODI

Pakistan's Shadab Khan and Jaber Azam run between wickets during their second ODI cricket match against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (AP)
Updated 17 October 2017
0

Azam, Shadab lift Pakistan to 32-run victory in 2nd ODI

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates: Babar Azam hit a second successive century and Shadab Khan gave a strong all-round performance as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 32 runs in the second one-day international on Monday.
Azam scored 101 off 133 balls a day after celebrating his 23rd birthday, while Shadab dug in to score 52 not out to lift Pakistan’s total to 219-9. They featured in a 109-run stand after Pakistan was 101-6 against seamers Lahiru Gamage (4-57) and Thisara Perera (2-34).
Captain Upul Tharanga became the first Sri Lankan to carry his bat in an ODI with an unbeaten 112 off 144 balls including 14 fours, but his team was bowled out for 187 in 48 overs.
“Our batting collapsed but the way they (Azam and Shadab) batted after that on a difficult pitch was brilliant,” said Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, who won the toss.
“The pitch kept getting slower and slower, so batting wasn’t easy ... if we trust the youngsters, they give us good performances.”
Shadab also outfoxed the batsmen with his legspin to finish with 3-47 as, yet again, the Sri Lanka top order failed to fire as it did in the first game of five, which it lost 83 runs on Friday.
Azam and Shadab batted resolutely and rotated the strike with singles and twos much to the frustration of Sri Lanka. Neither attempted expansive shots.
Azam raised his century with only six boundaries before he missed Gamage’s low full toss in the last over and was caught at long on.
In the run chase, Tharanga struggled to get partnerships going and survived two early catching chances when Shadab and Azam dropped sitters.
The Sri Lanka captain also successfully overturned a caught behind decision against him on 29, and Pakistan missed an opportunity to have him lbw on 46. Shadab didn’t go for the video review when replays showed the ball would have crashed on to the stumps.
But Sri Lanka always lagged behind despite Tharanga’s chancy stay at the crease. It slipped to 93-7, losing five wickets in seven overs. Shadab claimed three of those wickets.
Tharanga added 76 runs with Jeffrey Vandersay (22) but never looked to threaten Pakistan’s total before Vandersay holed out in the deep and the last two batsmen were run out.
“When you’re 90 for 7, it’s a tough task,” Tharanga said. “It was good to carry the bat, but disappointed with the result.”
Sri Lanka has lost 18 of its 23 ODIs in 2017, including 5-0 defeats against South Africa and India.


The world's eyes are on Mohamed Salah as hopeful Egypt take on Russia

Updated 19 June 2018
0

The world's eyes are on Mohamed Salah as hopeful Egypt take on Russia

  • Egypt are counting on the return of Mohamed Salah on Tuesday as they face Russia
  • The Liverpool wizard missed his team’s 1-0 defeat to Uruguay on Friday

SAINT PETERSBURG: Egypt are counting on the return of Mohamed Salah on Tuesday as they try to salvage their World Cup against a Russian side who know a win could seal a place in the last 16.
Liverpool wizard Salah missed his team’s 1-0 defeat to Uruguay on Friday as he struggles to recover from the shoulder injury he sustained during last month’s Champions League Final.
Salah’s shoulder has continued to cause him problems in Russia, and at the weekend he needed the help of three team-mates to put a shirt on during a training session in Grozny.
Egypt’s Argentine coach Hector Cuper said on Monday Salah was fit to play but will undergo a test before kick-off in Saint Petersburg.
“I hope he will be fit to play, I’m sure he will be able to play. He is a central piece in our team,” Cuper said.
If Egypt lose, it will likely end their competitive involvement in their first World Cup since 1990, so 96 million Egyptians are willing him to be on the pitch.
Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov was bullish that his team can rein in the explosive striker, who scored 44 goals in a remarkable debut season at Liverpool.
“We know how to play against him,” he said. “We are ready to stop Salah and we will.”
Russia got their World Cup off to the perfect start on Thursday with a 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia, but are under no illusions that the seven-time African champions pose a far tougher test — providing Salah plays.
“Egypt’s game with Salah is different from the one they play without him,” forward Alexei Miranchuk said.